Friday, December 17, 2010

Bankrupt California Enacts 3,000 Page Cap and Trade; Electric Rates To Skyrocket

While Congress failed in the past year to pass new energy regulations or curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, California voters resoundingly voted for measures to boost alternative energy use in the biggest state, and now regulators are charging ahead with rules for a system to make California law a reality.

California voters in November defeated by a nearly two-to-one margin an oil-industry backed referendum aimed at putting off a 2006 law that requires utilities to get much of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar. It also calls for a “cap-and-trade” system under which companies that emit greenhouse gasses are allowed a certain amount of emissions before they have to pay for them. They will be allowed to trade the right to pollute with companies that have extra credits.

Late Thursday, the California Air Resources Board voted 9-1 to put in place 3,000 pages of regulations related to the emissions curbs. The Los Angeles Times reports:

The state’s 2006 law requires California to cut its emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and at the heart of that law is the emissions cap and trade system passed by the state’s Air Quality Board Thursday night.

Those who have opposed such regulations, see it as a needless burden on business at a time when business can ill-afford extra regulation.